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Global Resource Outlook 2024

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the UNEP published the Global Resource Outlook 2024 report.

 Key findings of the report

Production and Consumption Trends:

  • The consumption and use of resources have seen a significant surge, driven predominantly by demand from upper-income countries.
  • Over the past 50 years, global production and consumption of material resources have escalated by more than threefold.

 Impacts of Extraction and Processing:

1) Environmental Impact:

  • Extraction and processing of material resources are major contributors to environmental degradation.
  • They account for over 55% of greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of particulate matter pollution worldwide.

2) Biodiversity and Land Use:

  • Extraction and processing of agricultural crops and forestry products are responsible for 90% of land-related biodiversity loss and water stress.
  • Additionally, they contribute to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

3) Fossil Fuels and Minerals:

  • The extraction and processing of fossil fuels, metals, and non-metallic minerals, including sand, gravel, and clay, account for 35% of global emissions.

 Future Projections:

  • The report predicts a substantial increase in resource exploitation, estimating a rise of nearly 60% from 2020 levels by 2060, reaching approximately 160 billion tonnes.

 Global Inequality:

  • There exists a stark contrast in resource consumption between low-income and high-income countries, with low-income nations consuming six times fewer materials compared to wealthy nations.

Utilization Trends:

  • Upper middle-income countries have witnessed a significant surge in resource utilization over the last five decades, more than doubling their consumption.
  • This surge is largely attributed to the need for infrastructure growth in these countries.

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